DHS could strengthen anti-smuggling efforts

A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report examines the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to address subterranean, aerial, and maritime smuggling of drugs and humans. GAO-17-474 focuses on the known prevalence of these smuggling methods, efforts to address smuggling, and efforts to assess the results of activities to counter smuggling.

GAO examined DHS’s investments into technology that addresses smuggling methods in the subterranean, aerial, and maritime domains. GAO also looked into DHS’s coordination efforts, including interagency task forces that investigate cross-border tunnels. GAO’s analysis showed that there were 67 discovered cross-border tunnels, 534 detected ultralight aircraft incursions, and 309 detected drug smuggling incidents involving fishing and recreational vessels along U.S. mainland borders from fiscal years 2011 through 2016.

However, GAO found that DHS could take additional steps to strengthen their efforts against smuggling. Among their recommendations, GAO suggests DHS establish comprehensive procedures for addressing cross-border tunnels and assess ultralight aircraft technology. DHS concurred with four of GAO’s six recommendations.


For more information on GAO-17-474, please follow the link below.
GAO-17-474, Border Security: Additional Actions Could Strengthen DHS Efforts to Address Subterranean, Aerial, and Maritime Smuggling

Interested in how smuggling effects U.S. national security?
Check out this week’s featured article “Plutonium and Picasso – A Typology of Nuclear and
Fine Art Smuggling” from the latest edition of the InterAgency Journal.

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